The auction is in response to the downturn in the housing market.
A lot of people shopping for housing bargains were looking to take advantage of the luxury condos auction on Saturday. 31 of 40 units were auctioned off. Most going for over 50% of their pre-auction market value.
With the housing market still having trouble, it’s not the best time to be trying to sell a home. That problem is magnified for the developers of a luxury condo building on the Wilmington riverfront. The Buccini-Pollin group had been offering the condos for $644,000-$1,100,000. Reflecting the drop in the housing market, the starting bid for the condos in this weekend’s auction will be $85,000-$190,000.
Wilmington Mayor James Baker (D) says the auction does not mark the end of residential development along the city’s riverfront. “The slow down was at the condo level, but houses are being sold in the city of Wilmington, apartments are being rented.”
The residential development is a key component in the future success of the effort to transform what had been the ruins of former industrial sites into a thriving community. Executive Director of the Riverfront Development Corporation Mike Purzycki says the decision to auction the condos will allow the market to “reset itself.” “Let’s figure out what the market wants to pay for this product. Move them out. Get people living down here, and then re-energize the market place, because as long as you’ve got 80 empty units, the marketplace is just sitting there on its hands waiting for that inventory to sell.”
Depending on the outcome of the auction this weekend, Baker says there are plans for another condo building along the riverfront.
Click here for more info on the condo auction. For more of WHYY’s coverage of the riverfront development effort, visit